James Strachan QC

Year of call:
1996
Silk:
2013
Email:
james.strachan@39essex.com

Clerks:
+44 (0)20 7832 1111

“An outstanding lawyer, who is a pleasure to work with. If you’ve got a seemingly unwinnable case he’s the only one that’s going to win it…”
Chambers & Partners

James Strachan QC has an extensive practice in administrative and public law, planning and environment, local government, commercial, financial services, media and human rights.

He has wide experience of acting in public law cases covering a large number of areas including planning, mental health, national security and immigration, prisons, financial services regulation, local government, civil liberties and human rights, appearing on behalf of the Government, local authorities and claimants. He is recommended in Administrative & Public Law and Human Rights Law by the current editions of both the UK Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, who describe him as “a superb lawyer”.

He also has an extensive practice in the field of planning, environment and compulsory purchase appearing regularly at public inquiries and in the courts in respect of most aspects of planning and environmental control, with particular recent experience in areas of housing, retail, highways, compulsory purchase and urban design. James frequently acts for many of the leading housebuilders and retailers as well as statutory bodies and public authorities. Recent ongoing or completed inquiries include: He appeared for Cala Homes in its challenge to the decision of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to withdraw Regional Strategies.James has expertise in all aspects of environmental law, particularly cases with a European dimension.

He also has wide experience of commercial law, with particular focus on financial services and regulation, has acted for regulators and ombudsman including the Financial Services Authority and Financial Ombudsman Service. He recently appeared in R (British Bankers Association) v Financial Service Authority& Financial Ombudsman Service. He also has particular experience of privacy and media law including acting in cases concerning breach of confidence, privacy, libel and protection from harassment as well as appearing as a witness before House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Privacy and Media Intrusion. James is ranked by The Legal 500 for Defamation and Privacy.

james-strachan-qc_winner_ukbar_2016
James was announced as the ‘Environmental & Planning Silk of the Year’ at the Chambers & Partners Bar Awards 2016 on Thursday 27th October 2016.

Recommendations


Chambers & Partners:
Recommended junior in Administrative & Public Law:
“He’s an incredible talent with an astounding work rate and formidable brain.” “He’s sensible, commercial and pragmatic. I rate him extremely highly.” (2016)
“He has an incredible grasp of the law and the issues.” “He’s a very good lawyer and a smooth advocate.”(2015)
“He is in command of all the legal intricacies.” “He is tenacious, well prepared, and very persistent in the face of serious challenges from the court.” (2014)
“very thorough, and a very good written advocate who also adopts a lovely style when on his feet.” (2013)
“extremely good” “a measured performer “(2012)
“a superb lawyer” (2011)
“unbelievably smooth advocate” (2009)

Planning Law:
An outstanding lawyer, who is a pleasure to work with. If you’ve got a seemingly unwinnable case he’s the only one that’s going to win it – and if you’ve got a marginal case he will ensure that it will become a shoo-in.” (2015)
“An incredibly talented barrister with a modest but highly effective style.””An excellent advocate who subtly gets to where he wants to be when examining witnesses.” (2014)

“He is clever, charming, persuasive, and good both at opinion work and on his feet. He is easily on a par with most of the planning silks now practising.” (2013)
“Undoubtedly a silk in waiting” (2013)
“top-of-the-tree junior” (2012)
“awestruck by the natural flair he displays when on his feet” and “phenomenal… an absolutely outstanding barrister. [He] is fast garnering a reputation as the go-to junior for major development inquires” (2011)
“rated very highly for his intellect, considered views and good client manner” (2010)
“Personable and highly intelligent [he] wins over clients who relish his measured and calm approach” (2009)
“talented junior with a sharp, penetrative style” (2010)

Environmental Law:
“A measured, intelligent and thoughtful barrister with a good brain.” (2015)
“A tenacious lawyer who can produce fireworks in the courtroom.” (2014)

“his style is user-friendly and accessible, and his overall offer is top-drawer.” (2013)
“excellent and very persuasive” (2013)
“an excellent choice as he is astute, effective and superb with clients.” (2012)
fine option for European environmental law and EIA issues” (2011)
“terrific” (2009)
“exuding experience” (2008)

Human Rights/Civil Liberties:
“He is very thoughtful, reliable, helpful and completely dedicated to providing us with the assistance we’re looking for in each case.” “He’s very good, both on his feet and in his writing.”(2015)
“He is incredibly bright and a very measured advocate. He’s completely on the ball.”(2014)
“wise and incisive in his advice” (2012)
“a lawyer of considerable distinction” (2010)
“very user-friendly, and really knows his stuff” (2008)

Local Government:
“A tenacious guy, but not unnecessarily aggressive. He’s measured and stays with things, but not to the extent that he loses the tribunal.” (2015)
“A smooth and polished advocate, who is very effective.” (2015)”he is very cerebral and very bright.” “He has always been a high-flyer and will hit the ground running now he’s in silk.” (2014)

“one of the brightest people at the Bar” (2011)
“A higher-flyer… one to keep an eye on, he’s going to go all the way” (2010)

Legal 500
Recommended junior in Administrative & Public Law:

“An exceptionally able barrister” (2016)
“Extremely clever and a great advocate.” (2015)
“an excellent team player” (2013)
“real class act” and has a “good reputation”(2012)
“first-class drafting and excellent advocacy” (2009)

Defamation/Privacy:
“continues to develop his reputation” (2010)
“very positive” (2009)
“developing an increasingly high-profile privacy practice” (2008)

Environment:
“Calm under pressure with an ability to get to the heart of a dispute and come up with a solution.” (2015)

Human Rights/Civil Liberties; Planning Law:
“One of the best lawyers in his field” (2016)
“A fabulous advocate – extremely impressive to watch.” (2015)
“rising star” (2010)
“calm and confident” (2009)
“strong work ethic and a willingness to put his neck on the line for clients” (2008)
“[he] has a very good reputation and is a hard worker and will go a long, long way” (2007)
“a tenacious, team playing and very intelligent junior” (2006)

Legal Experts, 2012:
Leading expert in Administrative & Public Law (inc Judicial Review), Defamation and Planning Law: described as “phenomenally busy” and “a sharp intellect”

Planning Magazine
Planning Law Survey 2012, ranked junior barrister

Related Cases


(1) John Emilyn Stone (2) James Emilyn Stone v (1) Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government (2) Cornwall Council
Environmental & Planning

R (on the application of London Capital Group) (Claimant) v Finacial Ombudsman Service ltd (Defendant) & (1) Jeremy Shrubb (2) Financial Conduct Authority
August 2013, Financial Regulation

(1) Deborah Jane Aston (2) Westcott Meadow Action Group ltd v (1) Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government (2) Mole Valley District Council (3) Taylor Wimpey UK ltd
July 2013,Environmental & Planning

Feeney v (1) Secretary of State for Transport (2) Chiltern Railway co ltd (3) Natural England
May 2013, Environmental & Planning

Hodkin v Registrar General for Births
Dec 2012, Human rights & civil liberties

R (Childrens Rights Alliance for England and Wales) v Secretary of State for Justice   
Dec 2012, Human rights & civil liberties

Winfield v Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government
Nov 2012, Advertisement control

R (George) v Secretary of State for Justice  
Oct 2012, Human rights & civil libertiesQ

Nicklinson, R (on the application of) v Ministry Of Justice
Aug 2012, Human rights & civil liberties, Judicial review

Rudewicz, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Justice &Ors
Apr 2012, Judicial review

McGetrick, R (on the application of) v The Parole Board &Anor
Apr 2012, Constitutional & parliamentary

Harbidge v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Mar 2012, Planning appeals – High Court

Nicklinson v Ministry of Justice & Ors
Mar 2012, Human rights & civil liberties

British Telecommunications Plc , R (on the application of) v BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) Ltd &Ors
Mar 2012, Judicial review, Intellectual property, Telecommunications

Elvington Park Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities &Anor
Nov 2011, Planning appeals – High Court

Equality and Human Rights Commission v Prime Minister & Ors
Oct 2011, Judicial review

Harrison &Anor v Black Horse Ltd  

October 2011

Heather Moor&Edgecomb Ltd v the United Kingdom
14 June 2011

Adams, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Justice
May 2011, Judicial review

British Telecommunications Plc&Anor, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
Apr 2011, Judicial review

R (Cala Homes (South) Limited) v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Cala Homes II)

Feb 2011, Planning appeals – High Court

R (Cala Homes (South) Limited) v. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Cala Homes I)
Nov 2010, Planning appeals – High Court

Star Energy Weald Basin Ltd & Anor v Bocardo SA
Jul 2010, Compulsory purchase

Reprieve (R on the application of) v Prime Minister (2010)
Jun 2010, Human rights & civil liberties, Judicial review

R (Webb) v Secretary of State for Justice (2010)
Jun 2010, Judicial review

Robert Hitchins Ltd v Secretary Of State For Communities And Local Government
May 2010, Planning appeals – High Court

Stop Pyestock Blot Act Today (SPLAT) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
May 2010

Tegni Cymru Cyf v The Welsh Ministers & Anor
May 2010, Planning appeals – High Court, Mental capacity and mental health, Judicial review

Brown, R (on the application of) v Stobart Air Ltd.
May 2010, Planning appeals – High Court

Robinson (R on the application) v Secretary of State for Justice
May 2010, Judicial review

U, R (on the application of) v Special Immigration Appeals Commission & Anor
Apr 2010, Human rights & civil liberties

Smith, R (on the application of) v Land Registry (Peterborough Office) & Anor
Mar 2010, Judicial review, Highway law

Little Linton, Cambridgeshire
Feb 2010, Planning inquiries

Oaklands College, Elstree & Borehamwood
Feb 2010, Planning inquiries

Orobator v HMP Holloway & Anor
Jan 2010, Judicial review

Cox (R on the application of) v Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government
Jan 2010, Planning appeals – High Court

KB, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Justice
Jan 2010, Judicial review

Old School, Bedlington
Dec 2009, Planning inquiries

Metro Construction Ltd. v London Borough of Barnet
Nov 2009, Planning appeals – High Court

Crystal Palace Park, London Development Corporation
Sep 2009, Planning inquiries

Ashtenne Industrial Fund Ltd Partnership & Anor v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Anor
Jul 2009, Planning appeals – High Court

AR v Secretary of State for the Home Department
Jul 2009, Immigration & asylum law, Human rights & civil liberties

Bramham Pylons, Selby District Council
May 2009, Planning inquiries

Salami, R (on the application of) v Parole Board
May 2009, Judicial review

A v London Borough of Croydon
May 2009, Community care

Amesbury Planning Retail Inquiry
Apr 2009, Planning inquiries

SPA and RAF Staff College, Bracknell
Apr 2009, Planning inquiries

J, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
Apr 2009, Immigration & asylum law

Police Federation of England and Wales & Ors, R (on the application of) v The Secretary for the Home Department & Anor
Mar 2009, Judicial review

Capel Parish Council v Surrey County Council
Mar 2009, Planning appeals – High Court, Judicial review

O2 (UK) Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government
Mar 2009, Planning appeals – High Court

Smith, R (on the application of) v Land Registry (Peterborough)
Feb 2009, Judicial review, Highway law

Cook & Anor, R (on the application of) v Financial Ombudsman Service
Jan 2009, Judicial review, Financial services

Newland v Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government & Anor
Dec 2008, Planning appeals – High Court

SSHD v AR
Dec 2008, Immigration & asylum law, Human rights & civil liberties

S and Marper v The United Kingdom – 30562/04
Dec 2008, Human rights & civil liberties, Judicial review

West Midlands International Airport Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Ors
Oct 2008, Planning appeals – High Court

Michael, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Anor
Oct 2008, Planning appeals – High Court

South Cambridgeshire District Council v Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government & Ors
Sep 2008, Planning appeals – High Court

Home Office v Information Commissioner
Aug 2008, Freedom of information & data protection

Heffernan, R (on the application of) v Rent Service
Jul 2008, Judicial review

Heather Moor & Edgecomb Ltd, R (on the application of) v Financial Ombudsman Service & Anor
Jun 2008, Judicial review, Financial services

Rent Service v Heffernan, R (on the application of)
Jun 2007, Judicial review

Bunney v Burns Anderson Plc & Anor
May 2007, Financial services

Regina (Barker) v Bromley London Borough Council, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government intervening
Dec 2006, Environmental impact assessment, Judicial review

IFG Financial Services Ltd (R on the application of) v Financial Ombudsman Services & (1) Jenkins (Mr) (2) Jenkins (Mrs) (Interested Parties) 2005
May 2005, Judicial review, Financial services

R (S and Marper) v Chief Constable of S. Yorks & Home Secretary
Sep 2004, Human rights & civil liberties, Judicial review, Freedom of information & data protection, Confidentiality and privacy

R (X) v Chief Constable of West Midlands & Secretary of State for Home Department
Jul 2004, Human rights & civil liberties, Judicial review, Freedom of information & data protection, Confidentiality and privacy

Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police v A & Secretary of State for Trade & Industry (intervening)
Mar 2004, Human rights & civil liberties, Discrimination law, Dismissal law, Confidentiality and privacy

R (Adriano) v Surrey CC
Nov 2002, Environmental impact assessment, Judicial review

Goodwin v United Kingdom
Mar 2002, Human rights & civil liberties, Discrimination law, Social Security, Freedom of information & data protection

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